Religion has played a major role in both the division and unification of peoples and countries within Africa. Its capacity to cause, and to heal, societal rifts has been well documented. This book addresses this powerful societal force, and explores the implications of a theology of reconstruction, most notably articulated by Jesse Mugambi. This way of thinking seeks to build on liberation theology, aiming to encourage the rebuilding of African society on its own terms.
An international panel of contributors bring an interdisciplinary perspective to the issues around reconstructing the religious elements of African society. Looking at issues of reconciliation, postcolonialism and indigenous spirituality, among others, they show that Mugambi’s cultural and theological insight has the potential to revolutionise the way people in Africa address this issue.
This is a fascinating exploration of the religious facets of African life. As such, it will be of great interest to scholars of religious studies, theology and African studies.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Engaging Religion and Reconstruction Part I: Biblical and Ecclesial Perspectives 1 Texts of affirmation rather than negation: Jesse N.K. Mugambi and African Biblical Studies 2 The Life of King David as a Model of Reconstruction 3 Worshipping God the Spirit "in Spirit and Truth" in Africa: One African Woman’s Reflections on John 4:19-24 4 Olódùmarè: The Hidden but Relevant God in the Yoruba Religious Imagination 5 Destiny and Eschatology in Jesse Mugambi’s Writings 6 The Church of the Future: Dialogue on the Ecclesiology of Mugambi 7 Christian Councils in Africa: Whence? Whither?: Impressions Part II: Liberation and Reconstruction 8 Postcolonial Positions – Jesse Mugambi and the Christian Responsibility in the Socio-Political Sphere 9 Relating Peace in African Religion to Theologies of Liberation and Reconstruction 10 Re-orientation: Theology of Reconstruction and Intercultural Theology 11 Reconstruction Theology in Action: Exploring the Significance of J.N.K. Mugambi’s Theological Contribution through a Case Study of Nairobi Chapel/Mavuno Church in Nairobi, Kenya 12 Theology of Reconstruction: A Paradigm for Reflection on Revitalization in African Christianity 13 "… Then Towards the Rebuilding of Our Societies Now in Ruins" 14 Reconstructing Mission: The Church in Africa in the Service of Justice, Peace and Reconciliation Part III: Future Trajectories on Religion and Theology in a Global Context 15 The Reality of African Religio-Cultural Identity in the Context of Globalization 16 Integrity of Mission in Light of the Gospel in Africa: A Perspective from an African in Diaspora 17 On Freedom: Risking a (Faithful) Reinterpretation 18 The Challenge Facing the Next Generation of African Theologians 19 Narratives of the Future in African History: Advancing Aspirations for Liberation and Reconstruction in Africa 20 African Theology and African Literature: Rediscovering a Daring Intellectual Project 21 Theological Education in Africa: Concerns and Contribution of Professor Jesse N.K. Mugambi 22 Missions and Money Revisited 23 Managing Religious Diversity in Tanzania: Islamic Revivalism and Modes of Governance
Elias Kifon Bongmba is Harry and Hazel Chavanne Chair in Christian Theology and Professor of Religion at Rice University, USA. He is author of The Dialectics of Transformation in Africa. He is Managing Editor of Religious Studies Review, and President of the African Association for the Study of Religion.